Chemical engineers contribute to society through the useful application of knowledge and understanding of chemistry, physics, biology, and mathematics. Chemical engineers traditionally have participated in many decisions crucial to the preservation and improvement of society, including energy, fuel, commodity chemical and food production, resource management, and the design of necessary pollution control measures. Emerging new areas such as biotechnology, space technology, nanofabrication technology, semiconductor devices and modern construction materials also utilize the unique capabilities of the chemical engineer. Many technologies to improve public health depend significantly on chemical engineering such as biomaterials, biomedical devices, medical diagnostics, the chemical design and synthesis of drugs, the genetic engineering of therapeutic materials, drug delivery systems and medical imaging technology. Finally, chemical engineering plays an essential role in important environmental technologies such as atmospheric chemistry, product lifecycle analysis, bioremediation, environmental risk and impact analysis, environmentally friendly manufacturing technology and products, separation and conversion technologies for waste reduction and the cleanup of contaminated sites.
The instructional mission of the department is to provide its chemical engineering graduates with the tools, skills, and competencies necessary to understand and apply today’s technologies and, through life-long learning, successfully develop and employ tomorrow’s technologies.
Specific program educational objectives of the Chemical Engineering program are:
- Our graduates apply their technical proficiency for the professional practice of chemical engineering or any other career path they choose.
- They successfully utilize practical engineering skills and have productive, gainful, and ethical careers in chemical and related industries and organizations.
- They successfully pursue advanced technical and professional degrees.
- They successfully transition into other professional areas, such as medicine, law, business or management.
- Our graduates contribute to the professional practice of their chosen field through effective communication, leadership, teamwork, and service while maintaining high ethical and professional standards.
- Our graduates apply high standards in the performance of their professional work including global and societal issues such as health, safety, and the protection of the environment.
- Our graduates demonstrate continued life-long learning through professional activities and training, the pursuit of higher educational degrees, and individual professional improvement.
Because of their broad training and education, chemical engineers contribute to society in many functions, such as pure research, development, environmental protection, process design, plant operation and manufacturing, marketing, sales, and corporate or government administration.
The program is specially designed to assure all students have demonstrated capabilities in the core chemical engineering topics including material and energy balances, thermodynamics, chemical equilibria, heat, mass and momentum transfer, chemical reaction engineering, continuous and stagewise separation operations, process dynamics, statistics, and control. The design experience is interwoven throughout the curriculum from elementary design principles in material and energy balances to the capstone senior process design and process control sequence employing advanced computer process and control simulators and experimental control systems.
The curriculum is specifically designed to enable graduates to model and design chemical and physical processes, design and conduct experiments, analyze and interpret chemical engineering data, and to determine capital and operating costs for chemical and physical processes. The curriculum prepares graduates to understand the need for professional integrity and ethical decision making in the practice of chemical engineering as well as providing an understanding of contemporary issues including business practices, environmental, health, and safety and other public interests. Students are also prepared for graduate study in chemical engineering, medicine, business, and law.
Because of the breadth of chemical engineering opportunities, the department offers a number of specially designed program specializations that provide unique training and course selection to those students who wish to concentrate in a particular area or technology. The current program specializations are biochemical engineering, biomedical engineering, computer-aided chemical engineering, environmental chemical engineering, pre-medicine specialization and pulp, paper and bio-resource engineering.
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